Cover Image: Girl in the Walls

Girl in the Walls

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Member Reviews

Surprising in its pace but still super engaging. Short, staccato chapters really add to the understanding of both Elise and Eddie's emotional compasses. Very nice.
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I was very confused by this book. I'm not sure whether it was deliberate by the author, but it was initially unclear whether the 'girl' of the title really existed, or whether she was some supernatural presence in a house. It gradually became clear that she was a real girl, who was living within the walls of the house where she had spent  the happiest part of her childhood before her parents were killed in a car crash.
Many questions were raised - how did she get into the walls? how did she survive in there? how on earth did she manage to evade discovery by the family who lived in the house?
Then there was the bizarre episode with the 'hunter'...
I'm sorry, but this book just did not work for me
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Girl in the Walls
Elise is alone in the world.  An orphan after the death of her parents she ended up in a foster home. But not for long.  She escapes and runs back to the only place of safety that she has ever known, her old home.  She hides within the embrace of its walls and knows every creak, every breath, every movement that could give her away to its new inhabitants, the Masons.  She comes out when they’re not there and marks the time by their granddaughter clock that on the  hour gives a different bird’s call an reminds her that she must hide again.
But they’ve noticed her; the flicking off of a switch, the ruffling of a dust ruffle, a still warm TV when everyone’s been out all day.  And as Elise climbs the walls she finds little traces of her old life in the house. A dusty, pink sock, a bookmark, a photo and the horse tracery that she did in one of the rooms.  Eddie, 13, knows she is there and tells her to go, that he doesn’t believe her as Marshall, his older brother constantly tell him to be more normal. When a small wet footprint is found in the attic when none of them have been up there then Marshall takes matters in his own hands and invites an outsider in. Someone who means to do Elise harm and she becomes hunted in the only place of safety that she has ever known….
This wasn’t quite what I expected and for the first few pages I thought that it was going to be a ghost story. But then I realised that Elise really was living in the walls of her former family home and it became a lot more intriguing.   Elise almost becomes part of the Mason family as she gathers up the last remaining traces of her family which emphasises the themes of loss and survival throughout the book. The author really evoked Elise’s world and I was totally caught up in it. I liked the relationship between the brothers as they barely tolerate each other for much of the book and then begin to bond.  The final chapter was so poignant and such a fitting ending to a truly original book.  It won’t be for everyone but I was so glad that someone was writing a book as imaginative as this.
My thanks to 4th Estate and Netgalley for an ARC.
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Girl in the Wall is not your typical scary Ghost story if you could even call it a ghost story. To be honest, at first I had a hard time persuading myself to continue reading it because it was not what I thought I would be reading. At about the time I reached the first quarter of the book, I was hooked. I found myself questioning everything. This book is unlike anything I have read before and I was trying so hard to figure out what might actually be happening. Were the brothers going crazy or was I. The writer takes you on a ride that grips you, entertains you and then just as you think you have it all figured out, you are thrust into a loop that keeps you guessing all over again. The Authors writing skills are immaculate and managed to exceed my expectations while enabling me to enjoy a book outside of my normal genre. This is one that I highly recommend and will be purchasing for family members when it comes out.

Thank you to netgalley as well as the author/publisher for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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When I first read the blurb for this book, I thought it was going to be a ghost story or one magical in the same vein as the Night Circus although less 'happy'. The girl in the walls is 11 year old Elise and she stays in her home when her parents die and decides to live in the walls. It's all very modern though and the family who move in  are clearly a modern day family (That will teach me to expect gothic)

I found much of the plot unbelievable and actually very sad! Elise lives in the walls and looks longingly at the family who now live in her house. When will the family start to hear her, and realise she is there?

This is a book about loneliness and grief and death and it was a bit much for me given the current day circumstances to be honest.
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This one is a bit tough fir me to review, as I don’t really think it’s being marketed in the correct genre.  With that in mind, I would give 3-4 stars!  It was hard to get into in the beginning, but did speed up.  It had some chills, but not the extent I was expecting.  I think the author did the characters very well, which helped me connect to the story more.  Overall, I would give it a chance; as if nothing else, it’s quite an unique read!
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A very unusual story that keeps you involved from the beginning right through until you reach the end. Recommended to those who enjoy reading this type of book.
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I received this as an ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Good:
- couldn't put it down!
- nice narration use/voices
- spooky and realistic

Bad
- took a while to get going, and send to drag or rush the opposite of what I wanted

This is a spooky and scary book, perfect for a Halloween mood no matter what time of the year. It gave me the shivers, I couldn't put it down! I'm definitely considering buying this as a gift for friends, as they love realistic horror. It made me check all the closets a lot of times before bed last year.

If you love realistic fear, read this!

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes being scared. Not for the faint of heart!

Overall: 9.5/10 :)
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Elise is an orphan who lives in the walls of the house where the Eddie and Marshall live with their parents. The boys know that there's something in the house besides their family, but their parents don't take them seriously. Elise has managed to live there for ages, moving through the house by climbing down the spaces inside the walls. But as time goes on, the boys become more and more convinced that there's something/someone there and Elise meets the local boy Brody, who keeps her secret and becomes her friend.
And then things start to unravel.

This book is literary in style and beautifully written. I cared so deeply about the children that I stayed up until 2am reading it, so that I knew they were safe. There are some genuinely scary bits. I absolutely adored the book.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy.
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This was a strange book for me, however I can’t say it wasn’t enjoyable. 

Firstly the premise was completely different from what I was expecting, as I thought it was a horror novel. It is creepy in places but definitely more of a story about family and home than a horror. 

Secondly the prose was quite hard to get used to, it jumped around a lot and was abit disjointed at times which made it hard for me to read. I also found that all the characters seemed the same when they were narrating their parts of the story. 

Some people may like the style but this just wasn’t for me however I give three stars because there wasn’t actually anything wrong with the book - It just differed from my expectations. 

Thanks to Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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When I saw the book trailer for Girl in the Walls on twitter some months ago I got really excited. It conjured up images of gothic, eerie brilliance. I imagined a very atmospheric novel set in the past when by candlelight an old house would creak and groan with the mysteries of what was inhabiting its walls... I basically envisioned a good old fashioned ghost story. 

What the book ended up being was a million miles away from that. From the earliest pages I was disappointed. The setting was too modern; characters eating pop tarts and ghost stories just don’t coexist in my head! 

And the characters... they were too regular. 
I just expected more secrecy. 
Characters with hidden depths. 
A house with an eerie history that is echoed in its current inhabitants’ lives...

Instead the book was about grief, loneliness and finding the place in the world where you belong. Which is a very compelling subject matter when executed well... but it just wasn’t what I was looking for from this novel. I thought I was going to have a novel that wouldn’t be amiss categorised next to some of my gothic favs like Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale, or Bailey’s In The Night Wood. 

The story follows the tale of Elise, a young girl, who seemingly lives within the walls of the house she once shared with her now deceased parents. She carefully creeps around the house swiping small amounts of food, a book to read etc. and survives on her wits. 

Two teenaged children of the house’s current family occupants begin to suspect that the strange noises they hear, the curious missing objects etc mean that someone or something is living in their house with them. And so they search online for information and to find out how to rid their house of their unwelcome guest...

And okay. That’s actually a pretty interesting storyline so even though the beginning of the book was a snoozefest where nothing much happened I persisted with the novel because I was curious to see if the teenagers would ever meet Elise. And there was always the possibility that Elise was an incorporeal character too... 

However, between 30 and 40% another child named Brody suddenly shows up and discovers Elise which had me baffled. I didn’t feel it made much sense to the narrative. Yes it was nice to see Elise open up to another person and therefore become somewhat of a tangible character, but there was always something missing in this book for me. 

I don’t feel that Elise’s emotions were ever properly explored. 

She wasn’t given enough grounding in the storyline because I think the author always wanted to have the book read in such a way that perhaps Elise was never truly alive? But to me this decision just made her feel very detached as a character and therefore the themes of grief and loneliness, and how they impacted this child, were never explored in a satisfactory manner. 

It also meant that reasons behind the decisions Elise made as a character were never fully shown to the reader which made the ending feel somewhat hollow I felt. But before that hollow ending there was the climax of the book... it suddenly turned into an almost thriller with a crazed bad guy hunting Elise down and I’m reading it like wtf?? It entirely jarred with me. 

Overall this was a book that promised so much but sadly for me didn’t deliver on its potential.

Content warning: Incredibly offensive ableist language used to insult a character 


*An e-copy was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley for honest review*
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The main character at the heart of this book surely must be the house in which its previous occupant, "Girl in the Walls", and its new family both reside.

It’s unsettling to think how an innocent network of rooms could be connected via invisible arteries that seamlessly hold everything together, while also providing an eerily perfect solution for a strange presence to manoeuvre undetected.

The increasing concern that grows within both brothers AND the ‘invader’ was very well done. So too was the incremental build up to the boys admission of their fear resulting from the little things that just don’t add up, like the misplaced items that turn up unexpectedly and their mum having to replenish a cereal brand that everyone says they dislike.

The weirdest event, though, was not the situation occurring in their home, but how they decided to tackle the problem. I won’t tell you too much about this, just that you won’t fail to recognise the moment(!). Personally I would have liked a little more background pre-dating this fiasco of terror, as it’s consequences were extreme and left a loose thread trailing in its wake.

Mostly I liked how the story was balanced with accounts from both parties. This allowed me to observe the characters, not as an enemy or by taking sides, but how they choose to face their individual struggles. There are circumstances and practicalities that I just couldn’t help but visualise, so it wasn’t difficult to imagine how it could make a compelling and dramatic film too.
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I was expecting this book to be something completely different to what it was but I enjoyed it nonetheless. This book was about an 11 year old girl called Elise who’s parents sadly die unexpectedly in an accident. Elise chooses to return to the house she considered home, although another family lives there now. She literally lives in the walls and crawl spaces in between the house  only to come out when the family are either out or asleep. She follows their lives intimately while trying to cling on to fragments of her own. II found this to be quite an emotional read, a beautiful exploration of grief and loneliness. However I did find the concept a wee bit unrealistic. I would like to thank the author, publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Disturbing, riveting, scary and generally a rather wonderful read.  Highly recommend for fans of thrillers.
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This book is sad in ways I didn’t anticipate it to be, albeit creepy, but ultimately this is a story of loss. Not only has Elise lost her family, her identity, her world but now that Eddie and Marshall suspect she’s living in their house, she now stands to lose the only home she’s ever known. This is her house. Their house. She’s part of the walls, she’s at the very heart of the house. This book had some really difficult and poignant moments that really hurt my heart while reading it and I would recommend it.
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Thank you to Netgalley, 4th Estate and A.J. Gnuse for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

I decided to read this in October to give me those creepy Halloweenish vibes, and boy did this deliver. It is creepy, and in a really good way. There is a girl named Elise, living in the walls of her home, she is a child and ghost like, only ever seen from the corner of an eye. And then there are the Masons, the family living in the house, the sons Eddie and Marshall begin to notice that something isn't quite right they wonder if she is real, and if she is how to get rid of her...

At first this book really creeped me out, the more I read it the more I'm glad to live in the UK where the walls in houses aren't as cavernous as American ones, but it still gave you an uneasy feeling reading it, especially when considering the noises that a house can give, creaks, the noise of pipes etc. Gnuse's description was incredible throughout, really setting the scene and was incredibly gripping at times, there were points when I was genuinely tense reading this. It really reminded me of that episode of Supernatural with the brother and sister living in the walls of a home, and I loved that.

Another aspect I loved was the exploration into grief, paranoia, and the exploration into the life of the Mason family (i.e. how they struggle with their own personal lives) and found it fascinating, and at times it took away from that creepy aspect of the book. I also loved the references to Norse mythology throughout.

I enjoyed the shifts in perspective as well, some chapters would focus on Elise, and others would focus on Eddie, Marshall or their parents. I found it really intriguing as you could see what the different characters were thinking. I liked the end as well, though I would've liked some more in between the end and kind of epilogue, I thought it was a fitting end for the story. Overall, I really enjoyed it and would recommend for a creepy autumn read.
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This was an unusual read and that is meant in a positive way. I’ve never read a book like this before. 

You assume the path is going done the supernatural route but you are thrown all over with your inferences. I really enjoyed that. 

Great book!
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Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance copy if return for an honest review.

I find this novel did not live up to my expectations.  I was expecting it to be a ghost story but its not.  Its a story about lonliness and grief but its set in very unusual circumstances.  The unlikely concept of a girl living in the walls of her old house.

With people noticing but choosing to ignore her.  

Plus the novel plods through the first quarter - it took me multiple attempts to get a third way through the book and I really struggled to finish.

This is not a horror or ghost story so if this, like me, is what you were looking forward to you might want to move on.
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The Girl in the Walls is very well written, tense and atmospheric. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, Elise is an 11 year old girl, who after tragically losing her parents in an accident, decides to go back to her old family home and live inside the walls. A new Family now lives in her home, there are two teenage sons, who don't really connect very well with each other, but their relationship develops along with the story. It is really nice to see how their relationship changes as they start to notice things aren't right in their house.
Even though Elise is living separate from this family, it is interesting to see how there is a strange but slight connection between her and the youngest son.
This story itself doesn't move very fast, and not an awful lot happens in it, which is why I have rated it 3 stars. I did enjoy the book, but I think a lot more could have been done with the story. It just suddenly ends and you don't really get some of the answers that you want from it. 
I would read another book written by A.J Gnuse, as I did enjoy the writing style.
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I really tried with ‘Girl in the Walls’ by A J Gnuse but I had to give up reading about one third of the way through. I just couldn’t get engaged with the storyline or the characters.
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